Sammy Sosa won't reunite with the Cubs during the World Series

Reaching the World Series is the ideal time for a franchise to celebrate and reflect on its tremendous history. Teams will trot out legendary players, big-name celebrities and even the president in order to rile up the home crowd.

This presents quite an opportunity for the Chicago Cubs. As everyone knows, the team hasn’t reached the World Series since 1945. A lot has happened since then, giving them plenty of opportunities to cash in on nostalgia.

One player who won’t be included in any of that is former outfielder Sammy Sosa. In an interview with Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal, Sosa admits he hasn’t spoken to anyone with the club in “about three years.”

The Cubs have not retired his No. 21 jersey. They have not invited him to throw out a ceremonial first pitch, or sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” or work with their young hitters. Sosa said about three years have passed since he had any kind of contact with anyone in the organization.

Sosa’s strained relationship with the team has been well documented over the years. Based on most accounts, it has more to do with his exit from the club in 2004 rather than his alleged steroid use. Sosa famously left the team’s regular season finale at Wrigley Field just 15 minutes after the game started. He never even put on his uniform, according to reports. That offseason, Sosa was traded to the Baltimore Orioles.

There were also stories about Sosa’s ego becoming a big problem toward the end of his tenure with the club. It was clear that Sosa rubbed some of this teammates the wrong way. That was made evident when one member of the 2004 team reportedly smashed Sosa’s boombox when he walked out on the club. Though it’s been over 10 years, it’s still unclear which player took the baseball bat to the boombox.

The Cubs probably aren't bringing Sammy Sosa back for the World Series. (Getty Images/The Sporting News)
The Cubs probably aren’t bringing Sammy Sosa back for the World Series. (Getty Images/The Sporting News)

His fall from grace within the organization is somewhat surprising given how much he meant to them during the mid-90s and early-2000s. In 13 seasons with the Cubs, Sosa hit .284/.358/.569, with 545 home runs. You couldn’t step foot in Wrigley Field during the time without seeing hundreds of Sosa jerseys in the stands. Sosa is also credited, along with Mark McGwire, for bringing fans back to baseball during the incredible home run chase of 1998.

The steroid rumors have negatively impacted memories of that chase today, but recent history has shown fans are willing to forgive those issues. McGwire is now a respected coach with the San Diego Padres. Barry Bonds also rehabbed his image somewhat by returning to the game as the Miami Marlins’ hitting coach for one season.

With Sosa, it’s not about that. Despite the fact that few from Sosa’s era are still with the team, there’s still a fractured relationship. The World Series prevented the perfect opportunity from both sides to bury that hatchet, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen now.

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik

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Yahoo Daily Fantasy Hockey: Thursday picks

PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 24: Jakub Voracek #93 of the Philadelphia Flyers in action against the Washington Capitals during the second period in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center on April 24, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA – APRIL 24: Jakub Voracek #93 of the Philadelphia Flyers in action against the Washington Capitals during the second period in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center on April 24, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

By Chris Morgan

The weather is starting to get more in line with hockey, at least in some parts of the United States, and of course in the Great White North of Canada. Perhaps that will help get you in the mood for the nine NHL games Thursday. Here are some players to target and avoid today.


Steve Mason, PHI vs. ARI ($30): Mason isn’t off to a great start to the season, as evidenced by his .901 save percentage. However, despite his reputation, Mason has been an above-average goalie in the NHL since becoming a Flyer. This is as much about Arizona not being very good as anything, though. Mason is cheap, too, making him a reasonably priced option with a great chance of getting a win.


Jaroslav Halak, NYI at PIT ($33): This isn’t so much about Halak, although his .905 save percentage so far this season is uninspiring. This is more about the situation Halak finds himself in. The Islanders are on the road on the second night of a back-to-back, and they are playing the defending Stanley Cup champions who just got Sidney Crosby back. You can get Marc-Andre Fleury for the same price as Halak. Doesn’t he seem like a better buy in this scenario?

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Logan Couture, SAN vs. CLM ($22): Couture would probably be a perennial 30-goal scorer if he could just stay healthy. He’s not off to a fast start, although his five points in seven games with 18 shots on goal is fine. Sergei Bobrovsky is off to a hot start, but sometimes this early in the season you just have to look beyond the numbers. Couture is a very talented player for $22, and this is a pretty good matchup.


Steven Stamkos, TAM at MTL ($28): Stamkos’ numbers on the season are looking good, but that’s thanks largely to putting up four points against Toronto in his last game. Montreal is not Toronto, and Carey Price will be in net. Obviously, Stamkos is a great player, but he costs a pretty penny and it’s not going to be an easy game for him.


Jakub Voracek, PHI vs. ARI ($17): Going back to Philly’s matchup with Arizona, the Coyotes have let in 26 goals in six games. Voracek was expected to bounce back this season, and so far he’s made good on that. After only scoring 11 goals last season, he has three already this year, and he’s taken 27 shots on goal in seven games. It seems unlikely the Coyotes will be much of a stumbling block in Voracek’s quest for redemption.

Tanner Pearson, LAK at NAS ($17): Apparently 17 bucks is the price to pay for wingers Thursday. Nashville is on the second night of a back-to-back, which means Pekka Rinne may not be in net (Juuse Saros is back in the AHL, if you were thinking there was a chance he might be called upon again). Pearson has only played in four games, but he’s got six points in those games and he’s playing a lot more minutes – on the power play – this season.


Brandon Saad, CLM at SAN ($21): Good news: there aren’t many noticeably questionable prices on wingers for Thursday. However, just because bad valuations aren’t readily apparent doesn’t mean that some prices don’t seem a bit worse than others. Take Saad for example. He only has two points this season, has only averaged 0:48 on the power play, and is playing against a really good Sharks team. All this certainly isn’t going to encourage anybody to select Saad at $21.

Andrew Ladd, NYI at PIT ($16): The Islanders’ signing of Ladd was maligned by many, and it looks like those naysayers were shrewd so far. Ladd only has one point this year, an assist, in seven games. It’s already been mentioned this isn’t a good matchup for New York, and while his price isn’t that high, it still doesn’t look like a good value.


Aaron Ekblad, FLA at TOR ($18): Toronto’s offense has gotten better (21 goals in six games). They have not gotten better defensively (26 goals allowed). Ekblad only has one point this season, but he’s taken 19 shots in six games while playing more than three minutes a night on the power play. This is a great chance for Ekblad to get back on the scoresheet.

John Klingberg, DAL at WPG ($19): Here’s another defenseman whose point total hasn’t impressed thus far. He only has two points, but they both came on the power play. He’s averaging 3:59 per game with the extra man so far, which is right in line with last year’s 3:50 mark. Klingberg had 22 power-play points last year, and this has the makings of a high-scoring game. That’s good for Klingberg.


Jake Muzzin, LAK vs. NAS ($19): Yes, fellow King Tanner Pearson was selected in this same matchup. However, Pearson is having a much better season than Muzzin, who has zero points so far and only 10 shots on goal in six games. Right now, it’s hard to have any confidence in Muzzin, especially at $19.

Zach Bogosian, BUF vs. MIN ($16): Like Muzzin, Bogosian has zero points. On top of that, Bogosian only has six shots on goal, and he’s only averaging 0:18 on the power play. Minnesota is also off to a very good start to the season, so it won’t be easy for Bogosian in this one. Furthermore, he’s never really been an offensive force, and even $16 seems a bit steep.

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